Executive Director

Position Details

Type Full Time
Offered By Preservation Society of Charleston
147 King Street
Charleston, South Carolina
Salary Salary commensurate with qualifications
Deadline 08/01/2014
For More
Phone: 843-722-4630

The Executive Director of the Preservation Society of Charleston (hereafter PSC) is the chief staff officer of the Society and will serve as its principal leader, advocate, and fund-raiser. The Executive Director reports to the PSC Board of Directors and works closely with the Board and the PSC membership in developing advocacy positions, establishing policies, drawing up and executing annual fundraising and marketing plans, and undertaking other activities and programs to fulfill PSC's mission. He/She has overall responsibility for maintaining sound day-to-day operations as well as for implementing PSC policies and carrying out a diverse array of activities and programs. He/She will also help guide the organization as it encounters new opportunities and challenges in a city that is experiencing unprecedented levels of tourism and tremendous regional population growth.


Advocacy and Education

  • In concert with the Board of Directors and any pertinent Board Committees, develop the Society’s advocacy positions on all issues that relate to the preservation of the Lowcountry’s cultural and material heritage; advance advocacy through appearing at public meetings and hearings, attending private meetings, writing editorials and using other media to get the PSC advocacy message out to the membership and to the general public; serve as the primary media contact for the organization.
  • Monitor legislative and other governmental affairs that may affect historic preservation; prepare and present testimony and position papers on public issues.
  • Oversee design and production of publications and other means of providing education and technical assistance about historic preservation, including Preservation Progress, the PSC website, and other channels (including social media) as appropriate.
  • Create and oversee organization and implementation of tours, conferences, in-house classes and workshops, receptions, and other events, programs, and activities to engage members and enable the organization to fulfill its mission and bring in revenues.

Operations and Fiscal Management

  • Reporting to the Board of Directors, establish goals and develop policies, procedures, programs and budgets to fulfill the mission of the organization. Handle the responsibilities of the day-to-day operations.
  • Manage financial matters including operational and capital budgets, cost control, risk management, financial reporting and financial planning. Prepare financial and operational reports for the Board of Directors for their monthly meetings, and as otherwise directed.
  • Hire, manage, and develop staff in coordination with the Executive Committee; set and monitor performance expectations for staff.
  • Develop and implement effective programs, events and avenues for revenue generation and direct the operations of the PSC store and merchandising plans.
  • Build and maintain open, positive working relationships between the Board of Directors, the staff and the membership.

Communications and Marketing

  • Develop a detailed marketing and communications plan and calendar to disseminate PSC message; support and maintain healthy revenue and attendance at all events; and garner goodwill and financial support.
  • Clarify and communicate PSC’s mission and role with respect to other historic preservation organizations and historical societies in Charleston.
  • Maximize the potential reach of the PSC website and other electronic media (for example, a PSC app).
  • Target advertising and media coverage to support mission and fund-raising.
  • Serve as chief spokesperson for the PSC.

Membership and Fundraising

  • Work with PSC board to develop a robust and detailed membership and development program that is based on advocacy issues and encompasses all levels of support from basic membership to major gifts; play a principal role in gift solicitation; develop a plan to increase the endowment.
  • Cultivate and maintain strong relationships with prospective, current, and past donors, including past board members.


The ideal Executive Director will be a highly persuasive public communicator who can pursue a vigorous program of advocacy, education, and fund-raising while keeping fiscal and administrative operations running smoothly. He or she will have the following qualifications:

  • Demonstrated passion for and knowledge of preservation issues
  • Proven leadership and managerial skills, including an ability to direct, engage and develop staff
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a multi-faceted operational structure, including direct experience with budget development and P&L oversight and reporting
  • Experience and demonstrated success in fundraising
  • Ability to foster a healthy organizational culture built on teamwork, collaboration, and high ethical standards
  • Experience in creating collaborations and maintaining relationships with numerous constituencies including Board members, staff, donors, political leaders, and other stakeholders
  • Strong interpersonal and communication skills that include the ability to inspire, motivate, persuade, and manage conflict
  • Knowledge and demonstrated strength in marketing, communications, and new revenue generation Education and Professional Experience
  • Master’s degree in Historic Preservation or a preservation-related field strongly preferred; master’s and terminal degrees in non-related fields will be considered for otherwise qualified candidates
  • Minimum five years’ experience in a leadership role in one or more of the following areas: architecture, historic preservation, economics, finance, public relations, design, journalism, planning, business administration, public administration, retailing, volunteer or non-profit administration and/or small business development

How to Apply

Resumes may be submitted in confidence to edsearch@preservationsociety.org. Salary commensurate with qualifications and experience. The Preservation Society of Charleston is an Equal Opportunity Employer.